Drinking alcohol and MS

Epub: Foster et al. Associations of moderate alcohol consumption with clinical and MRI measures in multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Jan.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the associations of alcohol consumption patterns with disability and brain injury in MS'ers.

DESIGN: This study included 423 subjects (272 MS'ers, 151 healthy controls) participating in a study of clinical, environmental and genetic risk factors in MS. Disability was assessed with the EDSS and the MS Severity Scale (MSSS). Brain injury was assessed using MRI. Information related to alcohol-consumption patterns was obtained with standardized questionnaires. 

RESULTS: The frequency of MS'ers who did not consume alcohol after the diagnosis of MS (19.4%) was higher than the frequency before MS (p<0.001). The EDSS and MRI parameters exhibited a non-linear dependence on duration of alcohol consumption after MS onset.

CONCLUSION: The duration of alcohol consumption is associated with disability and MRI measures in MS.

"This study is saying that alcohol consumption is bad for MS and is associated with a worse outcome clinically and on MRI."

"Until these results are confirmed I wouldn't take these result as fact. Alcohol consumption is associated with reversible shrinkage of the brain in normal people. May be the same effect is happening in MS'ers?"